NEW YORK: The adopted daughter of Woody Allen has spoken for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of the legendary Hollywood director during her childhood.
In an open letter published on a New York Times blog, Dylan Farrow, adopted by Allen during his relationship with actress Mia Farrow, detailed being abused by the director when she was seven years old.
“He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me,” Farrow, 28, wrote in the letter.
“He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we'd go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies.”
It is the first time Dylan Farrow has spoken publicly about the unproven allegations of abuse which emerged more than two decades ago in the aftermath of Allen’s acrimonious split with Mia Farrow in 1992.
Allen, 78, who left Mia Farrow after starting a relationship with the actress’s adopted daughter from a previous marriage, Soon-Yi Previn, has always vigorously denied abusing Dylan Farrow.
A New York judge in the 1994 custody battle between Allen and Farrow ruled that the abuse allegations were inconclusive, but at the same time lambasted the director as "self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive.”
Allen’s representatives could not be immediately reached for comment on Saturday after Dylan Farrow's revelations. The New York Times reported that he had refused to comment.
His adopted daughter accused the Hollywood establishment of sweeping Allen’s alleged crimes under the carpet by continuing to honor his films.
The director’s latest movie, Blue Jasmine, is nominated for three Academy Awards at next month's Oscars, including best original screenplay for the director.
Farrow called on three of the stars of Blue Jasmine - Australian actress Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Louis C.K. - to examine their relationship with Allen, asking pointedly: “What if it had been your child?”
“Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” she wrote.
“That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened,’ to pretend that nothing was wrong.
“Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines.
“Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.”
Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills last month, an honor that was collected by his former partner and muse Diane Keaton.
At the time, both Mia Farrow and her son, Ronan Farrow, slammed the award.
“Missed the Woody Allen tribute,” Ronan Farrow remarked on Twitter. “Did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age seven before or after Annie Hall?”
Mia Farrow later added: “:A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen’s molestation of her at age seven. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her and all abuse survivors."
When the abuse allegations first surfaced in 1992, Allen said they had been manufactured by Mia Farrow as part of the couple's custody battle.
“This is an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives,” Allen said in a statement at the time. - AFP